A Commentary on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 15: The Right to Freedom of Association and to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly


In this commentary, Aoife Daly provides analysis of Article 15 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – the right of children to freedom of association and assembly. Relevant international law text and case law are examined, but this commenary goes beyond this to reconceptualise Article 15. The right is applied to themes as varied as association with family and friends, political demonstrations, and the unionisation of working children, with the special position of children to the forefront of the analysis. Possibilities for progressing the right through UN mechanisms, courts and other arenas are considered. In doing so, this book pushes traditional boundaries to and understandings of association and assembly, drawing-out particularly child-specific elements of this crucial right.

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Aoife Daly, Ph.D. (2011), Trinity College Dublin, teaches law at the University of Liverpool. She researches and teaches widely on children’s rights. Her book The Right to be Heard: Children, Autonomy and the Courts is forthcoming with Ashgate in 2016.
Excerpt of Table of Contents
Author Biography
Text of Article 15
Chapter One – Introduction;
1 The Nature of Association and Assembly Rights and their Relevance for Children;
2 Association and Assembly and the Intersection with Children’s Participation (or ‘Freedom’) Rights;
Chapter Two – Comparison with Related International Human Rights Provisions;
1 Comparing CRC Article 15 and other Instruments: Have Association Rights been Diminished by the CRC?;
2 Associations and International Labour Organization Conventions;
3 Links between CRC Article 15 and other CRC Provisions;
3.1 Article 12(1): The Right of Children to be Heard; 3.2 Article 2: The Right to Freedom from Discrimination; 3.3 Article 3(1): The Best Interest of the Child; 3.4 Article 6: The Right to Life, Survival and Development; 3.5 Other Relevant CRC Provisions: Expression, Privacy and Family
4 Association and Assembly, the Special Position of Children and Positive Obligations;
Chapter Three – The Scope of Article 15;
1 Drafting CRC Article 15: Retaining ICCPR Standards?;
1.1 CRC Article 15 in the Original CRC Provision on Civil and Political Rights; 1.2 Combining Assembly and Association in the CRC: A Blow for Working Children?;
2 Other Textual Issues: Further Defining CRC Article 15;
2.1 Association and Assembly: Characteristics and Distinctions; 2.2 ‘Peaceful’ Assembly: Protection for Peaceful Participants; 2.3 Freedom from Association and Assembly; 2.4 The Limitation Clause: Any Different for Children?; 2.5 Children’s Rights and Parents’ Guidance: A Balancing Exercise;
3 State Reservations and Declarations to Article 15: Resisting Minimum Rights Standards?;
4 The Committee on the Rights of the Child: Progressing the Right?;
4.1 The Committee’s Engagement with the Right: A Dearth of References; 4.2 Comments of the CRC Committee: Upholding Children’s Equality
5 Ignoring Children’s Realities: Neglected Children’s Rights Issues under CRC Article 15;
5.1 Working Children’s Associations: What about Children under the Minimum Working Age?; 5.2 The Association and Assembly Opportunities Provided by Technology: Benefits and Risks; 5.3 Making Children’s Access to Public Spaces an Issue of Association and Assembly Rights;
Chapter Four – Moving Forward with CRC Article 15;
All institutes, academic libraries, specialists, post-graduate students, practitioners, with an interest in children’s rights, freedom of association and assembly, or civil and political rights generally.
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